The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts on February 23, 2003 · 247
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts · 247

Boston, Massachusetts
Issue Date:
Sunday, February 23, 2003
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FEBRUARY 23, 2003 Boston Sunday Globe City Weekly 11 Cambridge Brookline Illfllltllllllltlllllllf Illlltllltlllllllllll ItllllllllllllMIIIMIIIJIIIIII GLOBE STAFF PHOTOPAT GREENHOUSE LOSING THEIR HEADS OVER SPRING A passerby checks out the spring fashions at Jasmine Sola in Harvard Square as Yvette Teale adjusts a blouse. laiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiaiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitaaiiiiiitftiiiifiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitiKiiiiitiiiiiiaiiiiiit Giving density a bad name By Anthony Flint GLOBE CORRESPONDENT Being a model project can go either way it can show people how great urban design can be, or A Cnn.p howbad.InCam- f Dl bridge' 016 Alewife Of Place area at the terminus of the Red Line has been a case of the latter. On the west side of Alewife Brook Parkway is the T station, dominated by a huge parking garage, the fruits of the Red Line extension completed in 1986. On the east side are the 22-story Rindge Towers, built between 1968 and 1971 as a classic copycat Le Corbusier design towers in a park. The development, by a politically connected builder, Max Was-serman, using federal Housing and Urban Development funds, was based on the principle of building as much affordable housing as possible in one place. Today that is a discredited notion; affordable housing is marbled into market-rate residential developments that are much more human-scaled. But the Rindge Towers went up and soon became well-known for crime and ghastly conditions. Things are better today, after changes in management and ownership, but the legacy endures. The towers are what most people think of when they think of affordable housing; modern-day builders have to explain at community llllllllllltllllllMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMIIIIIIIIMIIIMIIIMIIIIIIIIMIMMHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM News in brief Celebrating Maud In celebration of the 100th birthday of Cambridge artist Maud Morgan, who died in 1999 at age 96, the Sacramento Street Gallery will host a show next month of some of her work. A birthday reception Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. will include a birthday cake featuring a likeness of one of Morgan's artworks. The Agassiz Neighborhood Council, which runs the gallery, is also inviting fans and friends to tell stories about Morgan and to bring clippings and memorabilia to be added to the permanent collection. Young, black, free The city celebrates African-American youth with a free event Saturday from 1 1 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Frisoli Youth Center, 61 Willow St. Guest speaker will be Naheem Allah, local educator, playwright and actor from the Boston Renaissance School. Also featured are appearances by dance group Hope Street Youth Center from Lawrence and the Berklee College of Music JazzHip-Hop Ensemble, as well as arts and crafts, food, music, dance, and poetry performances by youth center members. Call 617-349-4489 for more information. Greenies wanted Residents and professionals interested in working on climate change are invited to apply for a slot on the city's new Climate Action Committee. The city has adopted a climate protection plan ou fl pip H6H rirS-i3iiiTiiTTiirn The Rindge Towers going up. The idea, since discredited, was to put as much affordable housing as possible in one place. meetings that they are not, in fact, proposing these towering housing warehouses. The towers also give density a bad name. Because they are out of scale with the surrounding neighborhood, they seem scary and overwhelming. Yet it's a fine idea to put as much density as possible at a T stop; better there than spread across the countryside, and most residents dont need to own a car. The density was merely improperly handled in terms of how it was designed. Although the towers and the T station were built at different times, they were integrated into Cambridge's overall planning process. The goal was to encourage development at the two outer to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by the year 2010. The committee, to be appointed by City Manager Robert Healy, will work with city staff on developing strategies for energy efficiency, land use, and recycling. Send letters of interest to Healy in care of Rosalie Anders, Community Development Department, 238 Broadway, Cambridge, 02139, by March 14. For more information, call Anders at 617-349-4604. Novel development African-American author Omar Tyree will read from his newest novel, "Leslie," at a Black History Month event Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Central Square Library, 45 Pearl St. Tyree is the winner of the 2001 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature, Fiction. Call 617-349-4010 for more information. I don't spy lead Lead is not only in paint, but also in the soil, which can pose exposure risks for children playing in yards, according to city officials. Lead-Safe Cambridge is offering a free "Safer Soil" workshop March 6 for residential landscape designers and landscape rs. Training will focus on making yards safer for gardening and playing. The session runs 10 a.m. to noon at the Central Square Branch Library, 45 Pearl St. To register or for more information call 617-349-4650. MARY HURLEY Got a news Hem from Cambridge f E-mail Mary Hurley at MIIMIIttlllMIIIIMiiiiiiiiniiiiii,!,! ttlllll rasss: ::sssss t SSSssSssSbssbsi: Ssssssssssgs . CB 1 edges of the city Alewife and East Cambridge, where the 45-acre North Point development is currently being planned. At Alewife the most basic city-building principles were envisioned: density near transit. The faltering came at the level of detail: how the buildings were laid out, their relationship to the T station, the creation of a pedestrian-friendly environment. When you exit the Red Line today, you are presented with either a vacant lot or the parking garage. Crossing Alewife Brook Parkway is intimidating, despite the 10-year reconstruction program by the Metropolitan District Commission. The playgrounds and recreational fields around the base of the towers seem to be hidden and hard to get to. People have been killed crossing the railroad tracks there. The nearest stores are in the classic strip-mall format at Fresh Pond shopping center; every use is segregated and heavily car-dependent. It's all a far cry from the model "transit village" or "transit-oriented development" that contemporary planners and developers are perfecting across the country. Make the buildings varied and less towering, mix up the uses office space, retail stores, and residential and make it as easy as possible to walk to and from the T: those are the keys to success. Many developers are trying to build these kinds of transit villages from scratch. At Alewife, the rich history of the area named for the bony fish that Native Americans and then colonials harvested from local waterways provides ready-made character and regional identity, so important in creating a sense of place. The highway portion of Route 2, the Red Line, and the Minuteman bike trail all terminate at Alewife. It wants to be a special destination, but it could be anywhere. There are promising plans for revamping area parkland much of it swamp that was filled in for health reasons at the turn of the century. But the area has become so contentious, and everyone is so mad about past planning mistakes, it really makes you want to turn the clock back 35 years to start over. And while we're at it, maybe somebody could issue a warning about how barren Boston's City Hall Plaza will turn out to be. Got a place in mind? Anthony Flint can be reached at 1 4dM For skilled seniors, a changed job landscape A couple's search for work grows long By Lynne Feibelmann GLOBE CORRESPONDENT Nelya and Isaac Mayzlin moved back to Brookline in September, hoping to find jobs. After Isaac, 65, lost his at a San Diego software firm last year, neither could find work in California. Once back they had first emigrated here in 1988 from Moscow they initially met the same result. Nelya answered newspaper and online job advertisements, to no avail. "My age," said Nelya, 54, "was not an advantage." She was relieved that the Brookline Senior Center, a few blocks from their home at 112 Center St., could help. The center technically only considers people 60 and older to be seniors but agreed to help Nelya because her husband is 65. After attending a job workshop there, Nelya met with the coordinator, Deidre Wax-man, to discuss positions that would match her medical research and administrative skills. A few months later, Waxman heard of a part-time position at Dr. Martin Gelman's office in Brighton and recommended Nelya, who after two interviews and a reference check started work there Tuesday. Waxman said some 70 seniors are currently using her help to find work, a high number for the program and one that, based on her interviews with clients, stems largely from the hit so many elderly have taken in their stock portfolios, requiring them to add to their income. Those who emigrated to the United States in the 1980s expecting to live off their 40 IK plans, Waxman said, have definitely been affected. The Mayzlins, who emigrated here as Russian refusniks perse cuted for being Jewish in the former Soviet Union, do not have a large 401K plan. Isaac, 65, has a "conservative" investment plan and a monthly $800 Social Security check but is anxious to find work. "We need the additional income," he said. "I'm already a senior, so it's not easy to compete IHIIIIMMI1IIMIMHIIIIIMIHMHIIIIHHIIIIII News in brief Money on tap The Brookline Community Fund is accepting grant proposals from local organizations through March 17. In the past, funding has been awarded to educational, environmental, and health organizations. Since state and federal funds for basic services are disappearing, said Molly Paul, the program's director, "More people are asking for funds in the $10,000 to $30,000 range instead of $5,000." In October, the fund could accommodate only half of its applicants. Talking trash At his last meeting as the town's finance director, retiring Harvey Beth defended the town's financial records, which had been criticized by Town Meeting Member Stanley Wayne. In a recent letter to the Board of Selectmen, Wayne asserted that 13 percent of Brookline taxpayers did not pay their refuse disposal bill in fiscal 2001, resulting in a loss of $278,000 to the town. He alleged that nonpayment of the same fee over a decade resulted in a loss of more than $2 million. His proposed solution: dumping the refuse tax. In response, Beth said the tax is a quarterly bill that, if unpaid for over a year, becomes part of the property tax bill. "Not $1 has been written off in 1 1 years," he said. "We didnt lose $2 million." LYNNE FEIBELMANN Got a news item from Brookline? E-mail Lynne Feibelmann at GLOBE STAFF PHOTO with young people who are unemployed." He is seeking to apply his background in computer software, statistics, artificial intelligence, and military defense to jobs such as teaching positions at private schools in Newton and Brookline. Waxman is helping him build contacts at those institutions. Waxman said there is a lot of competition in the job market for positions that require basic computer skills and data entry, particularly for seniors. "There are more requests than positions available." Over the past year, she has been able to find positions for seniors at security agencies, schools, and university dining services. Ilse Leeser, 74, had some luck with the Senior Center. She moved from New Jersey to Beacon Street last May to live near her three adult children. Shortly after, she found part-time work in adult day care at the Senior Center, with Waxman's assistance. A nurse practitioner by training, she has continued to look for work at community health centers and medical offices. "I interviewed everywhere, Lynn, Stoneham, Winchester, but I never heard anything back," she said, adding that she searched online every night for months. "I think it's my age. IH find something. I know I will. I'm not giving up." Get a mortgage from someone who makes you feel at home. No one knows this area better than the people at Brookline Bank. And no one can help you get the right mortgage or refinance with less the n nnr , Left to rifiht. VUm Alenmn 617-730-3576; mortgage specialists. Tom McRnm 617-730-3521; n,,? TO 617-278-6429. We'll work with you from start to finish - so you'll feel at home every step of the way. Call now for an appointment or more information. Or go online: 10mm Member hew mmms m SPOIf s pages-, r - ... rw .1 f if Nelya Mayzlin, 54, and her husband, Isaac, 65, who recently returned to Brookline from California in search of work. "We need the additional income," says Isaac. "I'm already a senior, so it's not easy to compete with young people who are unemployed." JONATHAN WIGGS SINGER AUTHORIZED DEALER SPECIAL EVENT Sale Ends 30103 DEMONSTRATORS ON DUTY WHAT IS A SEW & SERGE SEWING MACHINE? 1. It's A Sophisticated Sewing Machine. ..That does buttons, buttonholes and zippers; stretch, decorative and glove stitching; zig zag, basting and blanket stitches; blind and rolled hems; double seams; monograms and appliques; ribbing, pin tucking, quilting and much more! 2. With A Professional Serging Stitch. ..That lets you sew and overcast In one step. 3. That Sews On All Fabrlcsl Including denim, canvas, upholstery nylon, stretch materials, silk, percale, organdy - even leather - without pressure adjustments! L IN ONE MACHINE! k ..cap MS I heavy-duty Sew This I Serge machines ere bum to last and priced i sell. 25-Yr. limited warranty Included. SALE ONLY HELD AT SOHERvME SINGER 280 ELM ST., I DAVIS SQUARE, SOMERvlLLE 617-625-6668 1 Sale Hours: M-F 10-6 Sat. 10-4 rrrSr t heavy oirrri yNStr SCHOOL MODS. lC Sew t SERGE fWVfi MACHINES pmmmmmmmmaammmimmmmmmm Brookline Bank FDIC fit Equal Housing Lender Score your copy of The Globes Historic Sports Pages today Packed with more than 125 reproductions of Boston Globe Sports pages, this one-of-a-kind book chronicles the regions illustrious sports history like only The Globe can. : A) tht conw ol WiiMngton and School Umn. downiown Boston tiTjbMooo www.tobttlO(.bMionxoni IlicttortomlMobf cwn 11 CI

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